Featured "Bee Sting" Crocks & The Current Market For Stoneware

Discussion in 'Antique Discussion' started by Joe2007, May 3, 2021.

  1. Joe2007

    Joe2007 Collector

    Hello Folks,

    I was wondering if anyone knows the origins of the cobalt blue "Bee Sting" motif on antique crockery and an estimate of when it was utilized on crocks (i.e before 20th century). It seems that many makers used it including some of the large producers like Red Wing.

    Used to see lots of these when I was a teen going to auctions in the mid-2000s but today they seem to be much harder to find, especially without major damage. Every farm auction used to have a few of these crocks that were utilized for sauerkraut, lard, etc. back in the day but I suppose a lot of those multi-generational farm hoards now have been cleared out and can no longer be counted on for supplying crocks.

    I've been trying to purchase a few quality examples of antique crocks, jugs with no damage for quite some time and have notice that prices seem to be currently strong and competition is quite fierce. Anybody seeing any trends in stoneware?
  2. say_it_slowly

    say_it_slowly The worst prison is a closed heart

    This page from the Red Wing Collectors gives some info.


    "I hear the term Bee-sting marked salt glazed crocks quite often. What many people refer to as Bee-sting marked crocks a Red Wing collector would call them either target marked or lazy eight target marked decorations. This type of decoration on salt glazed crocks was used my many if not all of the midwestern stoneware companies along with some of the eastern stoneware manufacturers. The Bee-sting, Target or Lazy Eight Target marked decoration is the most seen decoration found on salt glazed crocks. It is also the least desired decoration collected by the salt glazed collectors because of the large numbers found and simplicity of the decoration. As stoneware manufacturers sales grew, they needed to speed production in order to meet the demand of the customers. Decorations such as flowers, leaves, butterflies and birds took to much time to apply. With a few strokes a good potter could produce the Bee-sting quite quickly and therefore produce more ware to meet the demands of the consumer. With the Red Wing Stoneware Company, the use of salt glazed ended around 1895 and zinc glazed stoneware took over. It was shortly after this that decorations were applied with a stamp rather than hand drawn by the potter. This again increased production, which increased the profits of the company. Al Kohlman"
    Joe2007, Ghopper1924 and pearlsnblume like this.
  3. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Is What It IS! But NEVER BORED!

    WOW, LOTS of variations if one just googles them!!!! And I can't say as I've seen many, either!!! The 'Bee Sting', that is.......
  4. Lark

    Lark Well-Known Member

    i have one. Crocks in Missouri are not selling like they did 5-10 years ago. Too many reproductions . I notice the younger customers to my antique store actually went for the new crocks with fancy pics like baskets of blueberries. I preferred the older crocks.
  5. Joe2007

    Joe2007 Collector

    Thought this 3 gallon bee sting jug had excellent eye appeal.

    Crock 3 Gallon Bee Sting Jug.jpg
    quirkygirl and Lark like this.
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